If your doctor recently diagnosed you with prediabetes, you know that you need to make changes to your diet. Prediabetes means that your blood sugar levels are high but not quite high enough to be type 2 diabetes. Making changes to your diet now will prevent you from developing full-blown diabetes. Focus your diet on healthy foods.
Grains and Starches
The bulk of your diet should come from grains and, whenever possible, you should choose whole grains over processed ones. That means whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes and corn tortillas.
Check food labels to be sure that the food truly is whole grain. Some products advertise that they are “made with whole grains,” but that doesn’t make it a healthy product. You should also avoid white bread, white flour, white rice and sugary cereals.
Fruits and Vegetables
All fresh fruits and vegetables make up a healthy prediabetic diet. If you choose foods that you enjoy eating, it will be easier to stay healthy than if you try to eat foods just because they are healthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are an excellent alternative when produce is not in season, but check the labels and avoid products that have added salt or sugar.
Avoid any fruits and vegetables that have added salt or sugar. You will typically find this in canned fruits and vegetables, fruit leathers, pickles and jams.
Choose low-fat proteins, such as chicken, fish, beans and tofu. All of these are fine to eat when you prepare them without additional oil. Avoid eating meats that have been fried.
Dairy products can be a healthy addition to your diet and a great source of both protein and calcium. Choose low- or no-fat versions of these items, such as low-fat yogurt and skim milk. If you enjoy yogurt, purchase the plain version and add your own fruit to sweeten it. Fruit-flavored yogurts are high in added sugar.
Fats, Oils and Sweets
You do not have to give up treats altogether. If you want to eat a sweet treat, for example, adjust your diet so that you eat fewer carbohydrates at the same meal. Whenever possible, though, choose the low-calorie or low-fat versions of treats, such as baked potato chips. Use light dressings on your salads. Choose vegetable oil for cooking, rather than lard.
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